Grosik is just one of a range of ways to consider for sending money overseas, including banks, money transfer firms and foreign exchange (FX) brokers. Read on to to find out more about Grosik and whether they are the right choice for you.

Who are Grosik Money Transfer?

Grosik money transfers can be done any time of day with a handy mobile app. Transfers can be done to hundreds of countries with many different currencies. The company is part of VFX Financial PLC and is registered in the UK.

How to choose the best way to exchange your money

There a number of options to consider when you are sending money overseas:

  • the total amount you are planning to send
  • the cost of sending the money, the fees will vary depending on the option
  • how often you are planning to send money
  • how the recipient wants to pick up the money
  • the speed in which you want the transaction to be completed

These are some of the steps to take to determine the right option for you.

Step 1 – Determine the options

These are the three options for money transfer:

  • bank or building society
  • foreign exchange (FX) brokers (like Grosik )
  • high street transfer firms (such as Western Union).

Of all the options, banks and building societies tend to be the safest and most convenient option.

If you are sending large sums, FX brokers will usually be the best option, but may not be the safest.

On the other hand, money transfer firms are quick at sending money, but they may be more expensive, especially if you are sending small amounts.

Step 2 – What will the cost be?

When you choose Grosik, there are a range of fees and exchange rates to take into account.

Find out how much you can get for your pounds, after all costs. This will give you an initial cost to use to compare against the other options.

The costs consists of three parts:

  • Foreign exchange rates – as these change frequently, you need to compare deals within a short period of time
  • Sending fees – this is the cost the company will charge you for sending the money.
  • Receiving fees – there may be a charge for receiving the funds, although you can usually pick this up.

The fees will vary depending on the amount you are planning to send. You will usually get better rates the more you are sending.

You can start by getting a quote from your bank and compare it to the others, including quotes from FX brokers sites like FX Compared.

Step 3 – Get confirmation

Once you have the best value option, you should ensure that the company can meet your requirements, including the amount you are looking to send, and the timeframe required. For example, not all firms will be able to make urgent payments.

It is a good idea to get any confirmation in writing, if this is possible.

You should retain any paperwork related to the money exchange, and receipts, as you never know when you might need them.

Is it safe to transfer money using Grosik ?

When you do a money transfer through your bank, your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if a firm goes bust. This means that if anything goes wrong, you will get your money back. If you use a transfer firm like Grosik, there is no such compensation scheme in place.

If Grosik are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) they will need to follow certain rules, which means that you will have a better chance of getting the money back, if the worst happens.

Read our page on checking the authorisation of a firm and what to do if something goes wrong.

If you are making small payments, it is not as important to ensure secure, although it should still be a concern. However, if you are sending large amount, you should ensure any firm you use is authorised by the FCA.

Should you use your bank or building society?

The good thing about using your bank or building society is that you know your money will be safe, if the worst happens. These are some pros and cons of using your bank or building society.

Pros

  • Quick and Easy – you already know your bank and you may have online banking set up, so the process can be quick and easy.
  • Convenient – it is convenient to send money overseas using your bank or building society, and you may even be able to do it online.
  • Safe and secure – this is by far one of the most important benefits of using your bank or building society. There are no other options which offer so much safety and security. It is the best option for sending large sums.

Cons

  • Lower exchange rates – if you are sending large amounts over £5,000, you will usually get a better exchange rate from a foreign exchange broker.
  • Slow process – banks and building societies generally take longer to send the money than the other options. It may take up to 6 business days, but there is an express service for an additional fee. If you need to send the money urgently, this is probably not the best option.

Can you make regular payments?

As there are UK high street banks who also have branches overseas or they make special arrangements with overseas banks, you can usually benefit from this in terms of the costs.

You can benefit from a lower exchange rate, especially if you are planning to send regular payments, for example, paying bills on an overseas home.

You may even not need to pay charges or at least lower charges.

If you wish to benefit from these reduced fees, you will need to have an account in your own name in both the sending and receiving country.

What you’ll need for a bank transfer

  • You will need the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) for the account you’re sending the funds to – the receiver can obtain these details quickly and easily from looking at their online bank account details or on their bank statement.
  • The IBAN and BIC for your own bank account will also be required. However, if this is the same branch but overseas, you may not need these details.

The pros and cons of an online or high street money transfer firm

There are money transfer firms on the high street, so it is easy to locate them.

Some, like Western Union, will have high street branches, and then there are others like MoneyGram, which can be found in Post Office branches. Many of these high street money transfer firms also offer online services.

Pros

  • Range of services – high street money transfer firms can offer a range of services, for example, some will offer instant cash for the recipient, others will be able to transfer the money straight into the recipient’s account.
  • Simple set-up – it can be easy to set the transfer up, as you may not need to set up an account. If you are sending small amounts, you will usually not require ID.
  • Fast – the transfer can be extremely quick, unlike banks which can take up to 7 days.

Cons

  • Varying fees – you need to be aware of the varying fees that you could be charged. In some cases, you might be charged £10 for sending just £50. It is important to understand the fees before you sign up for any service.
  • Exchange rates can change daily– the exchange rates can change on a daily basis, so make sure you snap up a good deal when you see it.
  • Less safe – As the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) do not cover these firms, there is less safety than if you choose to send money via your bank or building society.

How to use a high street money transfer service

How it works:

  • Money transfer services can be found through a high street agent, or you can find them in newsagents or even at the Post Office.
  • You should not need to open an account. Hand over the funds, together with fees and it will be taken care of.
  • You will receive a reference number which the recipient can use to collect the funds. Make sure you only give this to the recipient, as otherwise, it could end up in the wrong hands!

What to remember before you hand the cash over

  • Make sure you understand the fees, the service can be quick, but they can also be expensive.
  • If you are planning to send ‘instant cash’ abroad, make sure you know where this is to be collected, and that the recipient can access it easily. You may also be able to send it to their ‘e-wallet’ (using systems such as M-PESA).

Online money transfer service and what you need to know

How it works:

  • Online transfers are better suited to transfers which are not urgent, as they can take a few days to complete.
  • Online money transfer firms will allow you to make international money transfers through their online services, although there may be a small fee.
  • To sign up, you will need to register your bank account or credit card details, which you can do via the firm’s website. You will need an email to be able to do this.

What you need to do:

  • Make sure you know what the recipients needs to receive the cash. They may need a bank account, and email address. You should ensure they have this before you sign up for the service.
  • Use a password to protect the money, make sure it is not easy to guess as the money could end up being intercepted if it is not protected securely.

How to use a foreign exchange broker

A foreign exchange (FX) broker is usually the most favourable option if you are planning to send large amounts of money overseas. These are some of the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Low fees – if you are planning to send over £3,000 overseas, you will usually not have any fees to pay.
  • Great exchange rate – As FX brokers are specialists in currency transaction, they will usually be able to offer you one of the best exchange rates, especially compared to your bank or building society.
  • Quick access– it is a quick process when you send money overseas through an FX broker, the recipient will usually receive it on the same day, or at least within 24 hours.
  • Regular payments – you can usually do regular payments through an FX broker.

Cons

  • Slow process for opening an account – you need to open an account to send money via an FX broker, and this may take a day or two to complete.
  • Not ideal for small amounts – FX brokers may not be the best choice for sending small amounts of money.
  • Not as safe – The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) does not provide cover for FX brokers, so you it will not be as safe as sending via your bank.

How to use price comparison sites to find the best deal

If you are looking for the best deal, there is some work you can do to get there. One way to find the best deal is to use price comparison sites.

Instead of just sticking to one price comparison site, like most people do, you should aim to use several, as not all price comparison sites have the same offers.

You should ensure that the deal fits with your needs. You should not just go with the best price, but instead, look at whether the firm is FCA authorised and if they can send the money within the timeframe you need, and if they can handle the amount you wish to send. There are so many options that it can be difficult to find the right one, make sure they can deliver everything you need.

Look at the filter. Sometimes there will be filters on the price comparison site, which may hide some of the best deals. You could miss out on a great offer.

Scams – and how to identify them

There are scams which exist everywhere, nothing is immune to scams, and the same applies to money transfers. It is important to be aware of the scams, and take steps to ensure that you don’t end up giving out your personal details to a scammer. Although Grosik is probably not a scam, you should be aware of those who are, and you may even find that there are companies who pretend to be Grosik.

Always stay aware and be vigilent.

There are some signs that you may be involved in a scam:

  • If the deal is drastically different from the others, it is a sign that it may be a scam. As they say ‘if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!’
  • If someone calls you out of the blue, and you weren’t expecting the call, this could be a scam. Only those firms who you have left a query with will usually contact you to discuss their deals.
  • If they are asking for your personal details before you have even had a discussion, this is another sign that it could be a scam.

Planning for future needs

When you are sending money abroad, you can opt for the exchange rate you are offered at the time.

If you are planning to send money in the future, you may be concerned that the exchange rate will change dramatically, and you won’t get the same deal. Exchange rates tend to fluctuate over the course of the day/week, so you may want to lock in the exchange rate. You can do this by using a ‘forward contract.’

These are particularly useful if you are looking to send a large sum of money in the future, and you want to ensure you get a great deal.

If you need to put down money for a holiday home abroad for example, and you are concerned about the pound weakening or the euro getting stronger, it is a good idea to lock down the rate.

If things go wrong with Grosik

No matter what option you for with your money transfer, there is always the chance that things will go wrong, and as such it is important that you make sure you are prepared.

Banks and building societies offer greater protection when it comes to the money transfer process, as they are covered by the compensation scheme. However, no such protection exists for FX brokers and money transfer firms.

You should check if Grosik are authorised with the FCA, as if they are, they have a responsibility to safeguard your money.

Don’t mistake being ‘authorised’ with ‘registered’, as you only want to be concerned with whether they are authorised, as this means they need to keep your money separate from company funds.

In order to check the FCA authorisation, you can look on the Financial Conduct Authority website, which will open in a new window.

When you are searching for small firms, which may include money transfers agencies like Western Union, you should narrow your search by searching for the postcode.

What are the alternatives to Grosik?

if you are looking to make purchases and payments online via overseas stores, you can also use your credit or debit card, as this is a convenient way to send money.

You should avoid sending a foreign bank draft (like a UK cheque) overseas.

It will be a slow process and it can be expensive, as you’ll have to pay foreign bank charges (and possibly UK bank handling charges).

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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